I don't share Derek's newfound anger at the GPL.
It's not newfound! We've been going through the bureaucracy here to try to open source MOOSE and a big part of that has been to try to understand all of our open-source licensing options and the potential implications. This is why I was arguing with Roy in the first place (because I thought I had just figured this out a few weeks ago)... and I'm glad I did because I was wrong!
Open-source licensing is a straight up fiasco. Between license incompatibility and patent issues it's just a damn mess! That doesn't mean it's not worth the pain... and _we_ all understand that the intent is good behind each open-source license... but the actual legal ramifications of each individual word in those licenses is a pain in the ass once you get the the lawyers involved (they are deeply involved in my case).
If people want to
get paid for their software that's fine, and if their preferred form
of pay is "you can't link with it without open sourcing some of your
stuff" rather than "you can't run it without giving me some of your
money" that's fine too. But I don't want either policy for libMesh.
Agreed. Time to replace or marginalize libHilbert, then. What was
the advantage of that over the sfcurves code?
Definitely - it scares me that we have GPL code in contrib at this point. We've been operating in the mode of believing that everything in libMesh was either LGPL or looser...
Then we got lucky. We've had too many contributors of major chunks of
code at this point; if we ever did want to change the license to
something non-LGPL-upgradeable, it'd probably be easier to start
rewrite from scratch than to hunt down everybody who sent in
large-enough-to-copyright patches under the understanding that they
were going to be LGPLed.
INL wouldn't (couldn't) play a role in a purely GPL codebase. Our government contract says that whatever we make has to be useable by the government for whatever purposes it wants... and that includes creating closed source software (and licensing that to companies). I don't know that we could legally contribute to a GPL library...
Beyond that - I agree with Ben that I don't think that a more restrictive license servers the purpose of libMesh. Personally, I don't care of my contributions to libMesh are used for a commercial application... and I think that the freedom people have with libMesh is one reason people choose libMesh...